Pakistan Stocks tumble during the week ended August 18, 2017 amidst thin volumes as the market remained cautious on the back of continued political uncertainty and fragile health of local currency, dealers said.

“Uncertain political outlook and concerns over economy, currency continued to take its toll on the market as the benchmark KSE-100 index closed 5.0 lower, and in the process made a new 2017 intraday low on Friday,” Faizan Ahmed at JS Global Capital said.

The KSE-100 shares index lost 4.88 percent or 2210.11 points to close the outgoing 4-day week at 43,078.38 points. KSE-300 shares index shed 4.9 percent or 1148.92 points to end the week at 22,198.65 points.

Analysts said mutual funds were keen to rebalance their portfolios to adjust for seemingly tumultuous political and economic climate. On the other side however, banks and individuals looked to take advantage of weak asset prices in hopes of capturing benefits of relentless selling.

In the backdrop of overall uncertainty, participation dried in the market, which can be attributed to receding investor’s confidence, where average daily trading volumes decreased 3.4 percent to 183 million shares.

Foreigners’ net selling eased off this week with aggregate net selling of $2.0 million significantly down from previous week’s $31.2 million.

Almost all listed sectors remained under pressure with key sectors such as cements down 6.9 percent, OMCs down 4.5 percent, automobiles down 8.1 percent and fertilizers down 4.9 percent witnessing the major chunk of selling.

During the week, Maple Leaf Cement (MLCF) announced to issue 12.5 percent right shares to finance its brown-field expansion. Siddiqsons Energy Limited had announced to relocate its coal fired plant to Thar, to contain its transportation costs.

On the macro front, country’s foreign exchange reserves declined by $62 million, currently standing at $19.94 billion accredited to external debt repayments. However, country’s service exports have witnessed a growth of 1.67 percent and foreign direct investment (FDI) recorded a remarkable growth of 163 percent in July 2018.

An analyst at Elixir Securities said foreign selling during 2017 so far as much as $426 million has surpassed $361 million of foreign selling during 2016. “Political uncertainty has brought additional pressure. We expect the market to remain range bound, amid lackluster volumes, although individual stocks could perform as we go through results season.”

The results to track for next week include Bank Al-Habib (BAHL), Kot Addu Power Company (KAPCO), Cherat Cement (CHCC), Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).